Podcasts appear to be of interest to YouTube in in addition to paying producers to produce videos. 9to5Google Notes A podcast Explore page has indeed been quietly introduced on YouTube. Those who can view it on desktop or mobile will see popular channels, episodes, and playlists in addition to categories and suggested programs. Even if you are a YouTube Premium subscriber who often sees listening-oriented options, you will currently only see basic video thumbnails and playback controls.
YouTube has been contacted for a response. Although it appears that the Explore page went live around the end of July, it is only now becoming more publicly accessible. It's unknown what will happen to Google Podcasts, if anything.
The new area suggests the Google brand is positioning itself as a rival to popular podcast clients like Apple Podcasts and Spotify, and although YouTube's longer-term plans aren't entirely apparent. If so, it wouldn't be surprising that. Numerous podcasts are already available on YouTube, particularly those with video versions. More people may become aware of those works thanks to the Explore page, which may also encourage additional podcasters to upload their work to YouTube.